The terms “cross-dressing” and “transgender” are not synonymous.
Gender is a social construct and a performance, something we do. Our gender performance might align with dominant notions of masculinity or femininity, or it might challenge or disrupt traditional gender expectations.
Cross-dressing, masquerade, and other forms of gender variance remind us that gender is neither natural nor fixed.
How has cross-dressing served to subvert gender roles?
How has cross-dressing been policed through history?
Why is cross-dressing inherently destabilizing or considered a threat to a society, such as this one, that privileges heterosexuality and the gender binary?
Cross-dressing : wearing clothing assumed to be typical of the opposite gender (Note: transvestism )
Drag : performance that aestheticizes gender for entertainment purposes. These performances are often hypermasculine or hyperfeminine .
“ Transsexual may be used to refer to individuals who use hormonal and/or surgical technologies to alter their body in ways that may be construed as at odds with the sex assignment of birth or which may not be readily intelligible in terms of traditional conceptions of sexed bodies” ( Bettcher 46)
“ Transgender may be used to refer to people who do not appear to conform to traditional gender norms by presenting and living genders that were not assigned to them at birth or by presenting and living genders in ways that may not be readily intelligible in terms of more traditional conceptions. The term may or may not be used to include transsexual ” ( Bettcher 46)